Monday, May 26, 2014

The Vista

The super hero /adventure/fantasy is not really my movie genre of choice, but I do like the X-men.  A few years ago I was home sick during an X-Men marathon on TV.  Partly due to boredom and partly due to Hugh Jackman I caught myself up on the first three movies.  Since, I've excitedly waited for each new film in the series to release at the theater.  This past weekend,  X-Men: Days of Future Past came out.  The movie choices over the last couple of months have been lousy, so I was even more excited for its release..I like a night out at the movies!

We wanted to have dinner at Masa in Echo Park so wanted a theater nearby.  Normally the theater at the LA Live complex is where we'd go when in the area.  It's a giant theater with all sorts of choices.  It is, however a pain to go there - very busy and expensive to park.  Instead, we decided upon the Vista Theater in Los Feliz, just a few blocks from Masa.  It shows only one movie at a time, as opposed to the multiplexes that are everywhere.  And it just so happened to be showing the new Xmen.  It's such a great theater, so yay!

The Vista was opened in the 1920s (OLD for us) as Bard's Hollywood Theater.  First, it was a feature film house, in the 70s it showed gay porn, and then in the 80s it did revivals and independents.
It was remodeled in 2002.  The 800+ seating was reduced to 400+ by removing every other row - the leg room is phenomenal.  Now it's back to showing feature films with occasional revivals.

The Vista Theater is darling and sits on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.

The Egyptian stylizing was preserved in the remodel.  Plus there are hand and foot prints out front reminiscent of Grauman's Chinese.  Oh!  And the tickets, before 6:00 PM are only $6.50.  What?!?!  Even after 6:00 they're only $9.00.  That's less than a matinee showing at any of the large theaters.


The manager, who has been there for years, greets moviegoers in costume.  Wolverine welcomed us after we bought our tickets.  

The theater is HUGE.  It was a warm day so every single one of those 400 seats was sold.

The movie started about 10 minutes late, I'm assuming just trying to get everyone who bought a ticket in and seated.  But once the movie started, there were two quick old-school refreshment reminders and one preview before the movie got underway.  At most of the cineplexes you watch commercials the entire time waiting for the movie to start and then sit through about 30 minutes of previews before it begins.

X-Men Future Days of Past, was a fun movie.  Over two hours of action/adventure.  The films are very creative.  The effects have come A Long Way since the Vista was first opened.


  1. A few blocks ?. It's two and a half fricking miles !!!!!!!!.
    Are those photos from the new camera ? If they are you've a good one to manage the low light of the cinema. If it's the phone I'm shocked.
    I'll get back later, Ive' to go out now.

    1. In a city where most people commute 30-60 minutes each day, two miles IS only a "few" blocks. Two miles is nothing! :)
      No, not the new camera yet. It was shipped on Saturday, but due to the holiday yesterday it looks like it won't arrive until later this week or early next.

  2. How very cool!!! I remember the old theatres before the big got 2 movies, the feature second and an intermission and then cartoon in did my parents make out by dropping my friend and I at the movies on a weekend afternoon!

    Glad you had a great time....23 days of school left here...because we started so late :(

    1. Yes! We had a local one with the double feature too. It was like a dollar to get in. We always joked that if you weren't careful you'd leave your shoes there because the floors were so sticky. Good times. I also like that those single screen theaters changed up the movies about once a week so there was always something new.
      Oh, I'm sorry. I have 13 days left and if I had ten more days after that I don't know what I would do...probably cry. t's been a CRAZY year so I'm really looking forward to it being over. :)

  3. It took me a while to figure out the building from goo st view. It runs behind the shops on Sunset from Vermont to Hollywood, where the shops are quite small front to back. I was stumped for a good while looking at the depth of the photos inside and what seemed to be a cornershop.
    One thing I don't get about your city. I can figure out bigshot homes, the main shopping areas. But that corner has me stumped. It looks like something I'd expect to see in Rio not LA. For without the signage it could be anyplace. Is this a Yuppy area ? to go with the cinema. Don't get me wrong. It looks prosperous, only not as prosperous as I'd expect sooo near the heart of town.
    All this is leading me to the question, was this an important area in the 20 to get an Art Deco gem like that. I wonder was the Baroque cornice added.
    And renewing that place didn't come cheap, some serious spondulicks were exchanged. Look at the lamp shades alone. Who even makes them anymore, so they were probably hand made by a stain-glass artist.

    1. Yes, it sits on the corner of one of the three or four streets that intersect there. I think it's officially on Sunset, but Hollywood Blvd crosses it, and so does Hillhurst and then Sunset Blvd, if you keep going straight turns into Sunset Drive and you have to veer off to stay on Sunset Blvd (which is really Hollywood Blvd that turns into Sunset Blvd). CRAZY! The intersection lights take like 10 minutes to get through all the cycles, even worse if there are walkers.
      I'd say that neighborhood of Los Feliz has more a "hipster" demographic these days, but what would have been called yuppies back in the 80s/90s. It's a pretty old neighborhood having its Hollywood heyday back in the 20s. So it's on the wealthier side, but old (again for us it's old). I've been looking for some photos of how it used to look (the 80s is above), but having a hard time and I've found nothing on what the inside looked like. I've read varying amounts on the renovation, most reference about a million. Is that a lot for here? I don't know. I'd say so, but the amount of money put into some of the renovations in these older neighborhoods isn't far off. I have no idea if those design elements are originals or not. I would say they are, but I don't know for sure. It's a neat place regardless. The history alone is worth it and the price a close 2nd. If the movie I wan to see is there, I'd go there over any of those giant places.

    2. Yes I don't know where the dickens I got Vermont.

    3. Oh, it's close by too. Maybe just a block or two away.